They fill up every night thanks to an infallible formula: vermouth and creative tapas for the daring diner who wants something a bit more adventurous than croquettes. The charming space in a prime location in the Sants neighbourhood has a small dining area, tall tables near the entrance and a couple of small bars.
It should be noted that if you'd said to La Mundana chef and co-owner Alain Guiard when he opened Santa Burg that C/ Vallespir would become a prime location, he'd have laughed – or cried – himself silly. He must have been told in a thousand different ways that his gourmet hamburger restaurant would fail because it was beyond the geographical borders of gastronomical success in Barcelona. 'And not only did it not fail,' explains Guiard's business partner Marc, who joined the Santa Burg team a year after it opened, 'but it's done so well that La Mundana has become its natural evolution.'
In fact, things have gone so well in Santa Burg that they were doing 'very elaborate things – too elaborate for a burger joint', says Marc. 'And we wanted to develop this creativity further.' So they found a space next door and built La Mundana. The restaurant gets its name from a series of dishes from around the world that you'll find on the menu, and which are all adapted with imagination and respect, with a talent that you'd find between Mano Rota and Volátil: the daring to play with textures and flavours without damaging the essence of the raw materials.
For example, the fresh and fun tuna tataki with Asian aromas; octopus with Iberian 'tocino' (bacon fat) in thin slices, and saffron rouille sauce; or the skewer of Duroc pork and hummus with turmeric. Meats and fish, like the octopus, are cooked on the grill.
If you love more typical tapas you'll also find cold tapas and the usual tinned accompaniments, along with croquettes, calamari and patatas bravas. From other corners of the world, there are even a pair of curries, some 'buns' (those on-trend Asian sandwiches made with steamed bread) with oxtail, and a recommeded egg Parmentier with carbonar that you can get with a bit of truffle if you like. And you'll find a good selection of meats that are smoked in-house.
Gastronomic macro projects with big investors are also part of Barcelona, but they'll never match these small places with a lot of heart and soul, built brick by brick with care.